About Community Education

Our philosophy and the types of programs we offer.

Forum Lecture Theatre

Why join a Community Education course?

Benefit from the expertise of the Faculty of Arts’ internationally renowned academics through our Community Education programs, and get a taste of what it’s like to study the humanities and social sciences at the University of Melbourne.

If you’re eager to stretch your mind and discover something new, or revisit areas of long-held interest, our programs are perfect for you.

Our programs explore a wide range of subjects from across the humanities and social sciences. Over the past five years we have run courses in a range of our disciplines, including:

  • Art History
  • Literature
  • History
  • Classics and Archaeology
  • Politics
  • Cinema and Cultural Studies
  • and History and Philosophy of Science

We believe that learning about human history, society and culture has the power to expand minds and enrich lives. We hope you’ll join our community and come along for the journey.

Can anyone attend?

Community Education programs are open to all. None of our programs require any specific prior study – they are designed to be enjoyed as ‘continuing’ adult education for anyone eager to learn. If you’re unsure whether one of our programs is right for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact details on the program’s web page.

What to expect

Presented by academics from the Faculty of Arts, our programs are structured around a combination of lecture-style presentations and facilitated discussions, with guest speakers drawn from across the University and from our external partner organisations such as the National Gallery of Victoria and Guardian Australia.

Discussion sessions offer vibrant conversation and debate, and a chance to pick the brains of our knowledgeable speakers. You can share your thoughts and ask questions, or simply listen and observe if that’s your preferred mode of learning. Our programs are informal, with no assignments. We aim to create a relaxed atmosphere that encourages an open exchange of ideas.

On campus programs also usually include light refreshments – which, for our evening programs, includes a glass of wine.

Community Ed Function
Community Education Lecture

Program Types

Short Courses

Faculty of Arts Short Courses provide a unique opportunity to delve into a particular topic, see it through the eyes of expert presenters, and debate its biggest questions with a room full of like minds. With thoughtfully tailored learning outcomes, our Short Courses offer an in-depth and stimulating educational experience that gives participants a rich understanding of the subject at hand.

You’ll come away with a strong overview of key details, ideas, and schools of thought, with more in-depth insights drawn from the specialised research expertise of our presenters.

Melbourne Masterclasses

Our Melbourne Masterclass programs offer the chance to hear world-renowned academics and industry experts talk about their intellectual obsessions and share ideas that might just transform the way you read great books, watch great films, and look at great works of art. Departing slightly from a more course-like structure, Melbourne Masterclasses traverse a wider range of fascinating topics under a common theme.

Ongoing Melbourne Masterclasses include our annual sell-out 10 Great Books program, and an annual series held at the National Gallery of Victoria in association with the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition series.

To get a sense of what we’ve offered in the past, visit the recent programs page.

Recent Programs

Feedback from our attendees

“I think you run a marvellous, informative and inspiring program. I never came home feeling other than elated and delighted with the presenters, all of whom were most admirably brilliant and knowledgeable.”

“It is difficult to extract one single aspect for distinction. The range of lecturers, the enthusiasm of the speakers, the depth of knowledge in the audience, and the delightfulness of the support staff were amongst the highlights.”

“It was excellent. The lecturer was interesting and well-informed, and the topic stimulating. I also enjoyed the refreshments and friendly people.”

“I came with limited knowledge wanting to learn more – I did that. Not only was [the presenter’s] breadth and range of knowledge broad and deep, he really loved his subject and this enthusiasm made the course all the more stimulating.”